15 PR metrics that you can start measuring today
Chief Executive Officer
Some tips at the start.
1. Start with the goals. Be as specific as possible. The final list of indicators will depend on these goals. For example, if the goal is to save money, the indicators will be significantly different from those that pursue the strengthening of the brand image.
2. Do not focus solely on your own brand. In order to get a better picture of the overall communication effort, measure everything in comparison with competitors and in "before / after" dynamics.
3. Below you can see the indicators related to so-called Paid Media. This is not a mistake, today PR is actively using legal and transparent marketing tools like promotional posts on Facebook.
4. After that we show the most popular and well known metrics that help you to immediately demonstrate the impact of PR on the brand. Even if your business is still small, first measure the key indicators that are most relevant. Over time you can create your own indicators or refine the existing ones.
You can measure each of the following indicators by yourself as long as it does not take too much time. As scale increases add the help of professional services.
TOP indicators by LOOQME.
1. Media mentions.
The mentions of the company, its speakers and its product are the heart of PR. You can measure quantity, quality, coverage, role, tone and much more. However, you can start with quantity.
This indicator can be compared with awareness (knowledge of the brand), and to some extent with market share. The analysis of the mentions shows how well the audience, including the media, understands who you are, what your benefits and differences are. What do competitors talk about, which is relative to the market in general, which niches remain free for communications?
2. Quality of mentions.
It is determined by comparing the tone and the role of mentions as well as the sources. For example, the publication of an interview in Interfax is a better type of mention than 10 news published in regional media where the brand plays a minor role. So the principle is to determine the key media, look at the tone and the messages they carry, compare with the closest competitors.
Quality can be accessed for one separate piece of news as well as for total number of news for a specific campaign or period. You can compare two campaigns or the quality of distribution in two or more key media. Since the indicator reduces the scale effect, you can consider objects with different volumes of mentions, for example "PrivatBank" and "Ukrbudinvestbank". Obviously, their visibility in the media field is significantly different.
3. Tone of mentions.
If it is not possible to keep track of negative mentions timely (to receive alerts), one must work with them later. It affects search yield, media availability for highlighting your position, partners and clients – and the reputation in general.
Media Favourability Index (MFI) can be measured with the number of positive and negative mentions. This is a relative indicator calculated by the formula:
MFI = Number of positive mentions / Number of negative mentions
If MFI <1, then during the period there were more negative mentions so it is time to work on improving the situation, if you do not profess this goal.
4. Role of mentions.
Demonstrates the relevance of the publication - whether the company is mentioned once in the list of sponsors or named in comparison with competitors in the market survey, etc. We distinguish the main and occasional role of mentioning. We also add a secondary one. Sometimes you can find the following classification: focal / accent / occasional mention.
The role shows the level of saturation of the publication with a particular brand and key messages. Positive publications with the leading role are the best foundation for a good reputation and a source of new traffic.
5. Share Of Voice.
SoV (%) = Total number of publications / Number of publications about the company
It can be used not only for comparing your activity with competitors and the market. In addition, you can compare mentions in key and non-key media, in national and regional, in the main and occasional roles, and many more. SoV is easily adjusted to communication priorities, so it's often used for KPI.
Resonance (Media Visibility, MV) highlights the brand awareness / company visibility in the media and the quality of filling the media field with mentions. It is calculated for each publication and for the entire array of mentions. It can take the role, tone, type of media, their rating and coverage into account. Unlike measuring the quality of mentions, determining the resonance requires taking into account such parameters as the amount of brand mentions or newsbreaks.
In addition you need to track how you communicate your key messages. Write down the key messages; add them to all materials for the media and other communications. The list of these messages is called message box. After finishing the campaigns, access how many of them contain key messages, as well as how many reposts / comments / likes these posts have gathered. It will show which media understood what you were trying to say. Besides, it will show which content is better perceived by the audience of these media.
7. Web traffic.
If a website is a hub for engaging the audience then web analytics should be at the center of measuring PR effectiveness. Ask these questions:
- How much new traffic an article in the media, blog post or Facebook post generates?
- Do visitors go to other pages on the site?
- What is the bounce rate?
- How long do visitors spend on the site?
- Do they leave orders, make purchases?
For the purpose of PR website visitors can be divided into three groups, depending on their source:
- through owned content on the pages of your website;
- through earned content from third-party websites where posts were published or you were mentioned in the media articles;
- through social content from social networks.
Indicators of earned and social content allow you to understand what resources to focus on. While comparing user behavior, you can modify content for certain target audiences.
Search engine rankings have a critical impact on the number and quality of the received leads and growth of users' trust.
Check your rating regularly. Choose 10 basic queries you are searched for by customers, set up contextual advertising etc. Measure their position monthly and quarterly. For precision, use the "incognito" mode in your browser.
To increase your rating, add the basic search queries for your content key messages.
Links from other sites that direct traffic to your website. This is a good source of traffic, which also helps to strengthen reputation among target audiences and search engines. However, not all references are equally useful. They vary in size and impact.
There are three types of backlinks ranked by level of value:
- Good backlink mentions your brand in a positive way, but does not have an active link. Basically it's any mention of you in the Internet. It's important to keep track of the correct spelling of brand names and search engine rankings. Find out if your contextual advertising is configured by brand name.
- Very good backlink remembers the brand and contains an active link. So, you can identify the source of traffic and get a lot of other useful information.
- The best backlink refers to your site and mentions the positive aspects of the brand, especially the keywords that you want to increase your Google ranking by. Although the media does not like to post active links in positive articles, miracles happen and you can work on it.
However each of these mentions will have a positive effect on your brand. Track their quantity and quality to identify appropriate resources and adjust the content plan.
10. Email marketing.
It's important to keep track of the number of clicks to the content, downloads, shares in social media / messengers / mail, leads generation in mailout.
Mailing lists should be created for internal communications with employees, partners as well as for different categories of clients. We do not recommend this tool for working with journalists, experts and opinion leaders - these are important audiences with which we advise building personal relationships.
Conversion is the holy grail of marketing, an underestimated indicator in PR. This is the ratio of the number of targeted events that have been successfully completed to the total number of such events. It is the clearest indicator in terms of the number of sales or leads received.
Conversions, like SoV, can be counted for various events - even for the distribution of press releases (total number of events) and the number of publications in the key media (successfully completed event). However, it's best when you demonstrate how specific material from a website or an external resource generated the number of new visitors and orders. Similarly, for example, by combining Facebook statistics with web analytics, you can find out which promotional campaigns are successful or failing.
Several dozen examples of such data can be analyzed to generate effective content.
Also, basing on conversion numbers you can build an effective sales funnel or Customer Journey by placing additional content at each stage.
12. NPS and eNPS.
Net Promoter Score is the most popular indicator for customer loyalty measurement on a scale from 1 to 10. Depending on the answer to the question "What is the probability that you would recommend our product / service to your friends, colleagues, partners?" customers are divided into three groups:
- 1-6 — detractors. That is, brand critics. This is the growth zone: a dissatisfied critic can be turned into a promoter.
- 7-8 — neutrals. Neither negative nor positive. This is a risk zone - the client does not understand the value of the product, can use / purchase out of habit, more sensitive to price changes, may go to a competitor.
- 9-10 — promoters. Brand advocates who actively use the product, generate recommendations and positive feedback. They are the source of insights.
Use this formula to calculate the indicator:
NPS = % of promoters - % of detractors
There is a lot of data as to which value should be considered the norm. For example, at service companies the value for new customers after a completed order is around 75.
But we are convinced that it is better to observe ourselves in dynamics. This approach can be used to determine at what stage it is better to interview clients, how often, whether it's better to question them all or to divide into groups. From this list it becomes clear that there is no universal number.
Similarly to NPS, we can measure eNPS (employee NPS) for company employees.
Engagement is a key indicator for social networks. Includes tracking likes, comments, views, downloads, and reposts without text or posts and more. This data reveals useful insights: which audiences give better results from promotions, what is more effective - kittens or dogs, photos or videos, the evening of Wednesday or Saturday mornings. Do not forget to follow the distribution of news from the media or your website through social networks.
Using social networks (including instant messengers or professional platforms like LinkedIn) it's easy to create communities around the brand. If you manage to form an active community it is almost guaranteed that it will bring additional sales.
Not a separate indicator, but a general principle. You can independently create a concept of evaluation through a system of points or coefficients.
For example, for social networks evaluate each like as 1 point, comment as 5 points, and repost as 10 points. Next, create your own rate for separate social networks: 1 for Facebook, 2 for LinkedIn, 3 for Telegram.
You can rank the media mentions in the same way. Divide the media into three groups: profile get coefficient 2, popular get coefficient 3, others - 1. Positive references receive 2 points, negative ones - 0 points or even negative values.
In this way you can create a permanent system for evaluating communication activity and quickly identify the most effective channels and campaigns. Such ranking system is at the heart of defining quality indicators and the visibility of mentions (MV and MQ) in LOOQME.
15. Content analysis.
It is not a separate indicator, rather a system for trend analysis and permanent tracking of performance. It is the analysis of theme and dynamics of the media field in general - not only concerning one's own mentions, but also the mentions of all competitors, regulatory authorities, experts etc.
If you consolidate these metrics in one report regularly, you can get a handy tracking tool and improve performance. At first you measure the baseline, the reference point. Then compare the data monthly / quarterly / yearly and analyze the differences. For the reference point you can choose average market indicators - the benchmark or target values if they can be validated.
During the analysis pay additional attention to:
- The topics most frequently raised in the media. Are there any leaders in mentions on these subjects?
- The media that write about your market most often. Who are chosen as speakers? What is the average reach of such articles? Who are profile journalists?
- Articles that get more reprints and reposts more often.
- Subjects that often have a negative tone. How do they spread?
- Positive newsbreaks that are covered in the media.
- Examples of campaigns which look like paid-for. What scenarios are used, how do the objects of criticism react?
- The most effective communication formats.
- Experts in the market. Who are they?
The list of questions can be expanded and refined depending on the task. If you are interested in getting an example of content analysis, please feel free to write us.